Thursday, January 10, 2008

9th Circuit Upholds Fingerprint Evidence

In an unpublished opinion, a Ninth Circuit panel has upheld the trial court's decision to admit fingerprint testimony without a Daubert hearing. The reliability of fingerprint evidence may properly be taken for granted, the opinion holds -- at least in the absence of evidence from the objecting party calling its reliability into question. See United States v. Calderon-Segura, No. 05-50820 (9th Cir. Jan. 9, 2008) (Kozinski, Reinhardt, & Brunetti, JJ.).



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Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.